Friday by Robert Heinlein fulfilled the
category “Book by an
Author who Shares your Zodiac Sign” for the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge. We
are both Cancers with almost the same birthday. Yes, I was born in 1907.
Friday could have also fulfilled the genre
hybrid prompt. The novel is a sci-fi memoir romance. No, seriously, it’s a romance! Friday gets a Happily-Ever-After.
I loved this book so much. Though forty years old, the story and most of the
science held true. What’s not to love about an artificial human solving a
political scandal that rocked the world and finding her forever family?
The novel is in the first person. We get a full view
of Friday’s dangerous
occupation and her deep emotional issues regarding her birth. She is an
artificial human—no mother, no father, and shunned by society. Most AP
(artificial people) are identical to regular people, merely conceived and
raised differently. The strains of xenophobia and racism were clear in the book
and could apply to our society today. Friday longs for a family with her own
children. Unfortunately, she still has to make a living. As a courier with her
superhuman strength and speed, she’s perfect for her job, but it does not lead
her to her dreams. Until it does.
Most science fiction novels are about plot rather
than character. This book was a true exception. Since it is a memoir, there isn’t a central plot. It’s
Friday’s adventures through travel, finding a family, and dealing with huge
political upheavals in the new configuration of North America. As we get to
know Friday, the modern inventions, technology, and thinking fade to the
background of her story. I wanted her to win. I was angry when she made stupid
choices and felt for her when the world mistreated her. Of course, I cheered
her when she won victories. Science fiction told with this deep personal point
of view made the novel come alive. It didn’t bog the reader down with details
of how the travel devices worked. It just was.
I also enjoyed the sex. LOL Most books of this genre
refrain from mentioning, discussing, including sex in the novel. Again, we roll
right back to plot being the center of most science fiction. In building a
world for Friday to live in, with her hopes and dreams as a person, Mr.
Heinlein didn’t forget
the basic human need for sex and love. There weren’t actual sex scenes on the
page, but the topic was discussed. Many relationships and marriages were polyamorous.
Friday absolute was a sexual being. I loved that, loved reading a tale of an
artificial being who was a true woman, and that she found satisfaction in being
part of a family.
I had NO idea how good this book would be when I
started. My list had a few other choices for the Cancer prompt including The
Mysteries of Udolpho, a
Kafka, a Hemingway, or even Helen Keller’s autobiography. I’m glad I went with
my husband’s recommendation which was “yeah, you might like that.” Thanks, boo.
I give Friday
by Robert Heinlein Five Interplanetary Cruise Ships (because why not).